New York Pedestrian-Cyclist Accidents

This video features Ronald J. Landau, a Personal Injury attorney based in New York.

NYC Injury Attorney Explains What to Do

Video Transcript:

Ron Landau:

These things have to happen immediately. Time is of the essence.

Rob Rosenthal:

So if you're a pedestrian insured by a bicyclist in New York City, could you have a personal injury case and how do you get help? We're gonna answer those questions and more right now, because that's what we're going to ask the lawyer. Hi again, everybody. I'm Rob Rosenthal with AskTheLawyers.com, and my guest is New York City Attorney Ron Landau. I wanna remind you right off the top, if you wanna ask Ron questions about your situation, it's easy. Just go to AskTheLawyers.com, click the button at the top of the page that says Ask a Lawyer, or you can just call the phone number on the screen. Ron, good to see again. Thank you for helping us out.

Ron Landau:

Good to see you, Rob. You're looking terrific.

Rob Rosenthal:

Well thank you, you look pretty good yourself.

Ron Landau:

Thank you for having me.

Rob Rosenthal:

So there's been a story, I saw a story in the news recently, a woman was killed after being struck by a bike messenger in New York City. Do these things happen? Pedestrians being hit by non-motorized vehicles, bicycles or whatever, is this something that you've seen before?

Ron Landau:

We see it on a regular base here in New York. We have bike lanes that are adjacent to the moving roadways, pedestrians are required to cross these bike lanes while crossing from one side of the street to the other, and frequently these bicyclists do not obey the rules of the road. Pedestrian could be crossing in the cross-walk with a green light and still be struck by a bicyclist who disregards the traffic signal. It happens on a regular basis.

Rob Rosenthal:

And obviously from the...

Ron Landau:

And the most important thing is that this person who got injured, this pedestrian call a lawyer immediately. Call to find out if they have a case. These things have to happen immediately. Time is of the essence.

Rob Rosenthal:

Based on the story that I referenced, obviously, I guess sometimes these injuries can be very serious?

Ron Landau:

We frequently see fractured orbits, fractured arms, fractured legs. These bicyclists that are messengers, for example, are frequently electric bicycles. They weigh hundreds of pounds, they're traveling at a high rate of speed. It's often as severe or more severe than being struck by a motor vehicle. Motor vehicles are designed to cause as little damage to pedestrians as possible when traveling at 20 or 30 miles an hour. These bicyclists are traveling 20 to 30 miles an hour, they're making deliveries on behalf of establishments, and they wanna go as quickly as possible without any regard to the pedestrians around them.

Rob Rosenthal:

It seems like sometimes the bicycles also pay no regard to the traffic laws to... Do you see that?

Ron Landau:

None whatsoever, they're going the wrong way on one way streets, they're traveling outside of the bike lanes where they are supposed to be traveling, but the most important thing for any pedestrians struck by a bicyclist, again, is to call a lawyer immediately, frequently, these biscuits are messengers on behalf of businesses, on behalf of restaurants, and that is essentially the only recourse for the pedestrian. If somebody's riding a Cito Bike and strikes of pedestrian, and flees the scene of the accident, there's a strong likelihood that there will be no claim. It is essential to call a lawyer immediately to find out what witnesses there were, see if there was video surveillance and do a full investigation for witnesses who can identify where this bicyclist came from, or where did this bicyclist go. It is essential.

Rob Rosenthal:

If the injury is with someone who's driving a car or truck, Ron, then they generally have insurance. The bicyclists may not have insurance. What are the options there?

Ron Landau:

Well, someone making a delivery on behalf of a business is going to be insured by the entity that hired them to make that delivery, and frequently a business may try and claim that the bicyclist might have been an independent contractor. We have litigated these issues and been successful that the insurance for the restaurant, the insurance for the business that hired the delivery person is in fact legally responsible for the actions of its delivery person, so these are things we have actually litigated and prevailed upon. We've had defendants who were restaurants, we've had defendants who were Amazon delivery people who... We've gotten Amazon to be a defendant in the case.

Rob Rosenthal:

Let's talk about fault in New York City, what if if it's determined the pedestrian is at least partially at fault, does that mean there's no case? What happens there?

Ron Landau:

No, absolutely not. New York is what is called a comparative negligence state, which essentially means that as long as the defendant is found by a jury to be 1% or more to be legally responsible, the injured party is entitled to a recovery. Now, juries frequently side on behalf of the pedestrian against the bicyclists. Here in New York, we are constantly dodging bicyclists who are basically in total disregard for the law of the laws of our roads. So generally speaking, juries do side with the pedestrian over the bicyclist.

Rob Rosenthal:

Yes, and you mentioned that it's important to contact somebody right away. What sort of evidence... You mentioned a little bit of it, what's some of the evidence that you will collect to try and help their case? 

Ron Landau:

Here in New York, we have video cameras on almost every corner.

Rob Rosenthal:

Gotcha. 

Ron Landau:

And we are able to access those video cameras through the New York City Police Department. We're able to access those cameras through the businesses and the buildings that many of them have cameras that observe the fronts of their building. So it really has not been an issue. I would say 50% of the time that we've had one of these cases, we have a literal video of the accident, we have a video of the car or the bicyclist going through a red traffic signal, literally making impact with the pedestrian. Again, it's important because frequently these videos only last either a week or sometimes they only last 48 hours...

Rob Rosenthal:

Oh, wow. 

Ron Landau:

So it is really essential that we get on the scene immediately. Within 24 hours of our client retaining us, we have someone at the scene to find out what video cameras were there and send out letters and notices that these videos need to be preserved for our purposes.

Rob Rosenthal:

One last question, I'm pretty sure you sort of just answered it, but what if the pedestrian is a tourist and they're thinking, Well, when I get better, I'll talk to an attorney back in my hometown or something like that. It sounds like that's probably not the best option.

Ron Landau:

Well, we have clients from around the world, and certainly around the country, here in New York. It's a frequent tourist population, we have people, we have clients from Romania, we have clients from China, we have clients from California, we have clients from Texas, where they live is of absolutely no concern to us or to anyone else when it comes to the value of their case. They're entitled to be fully and fairly compensated for their injuries based on the injuries and the manner in which the accident happened. Again, where they live is of no means to us.

Rob Rosenthal:

Ron, very helpful information as always, thank you for making some time to help us out.

Ron Landau:

Rob, good seeing you. Thank you so much for having me. 

Rob Rosenthal:

That's gonna do it for this episode of Ask the Lawyer. My guest has been New York City Attorney Ron Landau. Want to remind you, if you wanna ask Ron questions of your own, go to AskTheLawyers.com, click the button that says Ask a Lawyer at the top of the page, and it doesn't cost you anything to ask your questions or you just call the phone number on the screen. Thanks for watching I'm Rob Rosenthal with AskTheLawyers.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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